Tom MacWright

I read Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang on


Ted Chiang’s writing is my favorite kind of sci-fi. He invents a world and a few compelling principles and shows you how it works. There’s no filler. There’s world-building about the idea, but not about all the other stuff - he doesn’t invent a new language, fashion, and universe for every story. It has this relentless focus.

So I thought I’d like this, having really enjoyed Exhalation, and I definitely did. If there were two themes between the stories, they’d be linguistics and Christianity. Both of which I have some experience with. In this frame of reference, Story of Your Life, the story that became the film Arrival, hits different: is Arrival about predestination, and prophesy? It certainly feels that way now that I’ve read it with a little more context.

I’ll probably read more of Chiang, and he’s the kind of author that I can wholeheartedly recommend. Going for a weekend trip and need something to read on the train? This is it.


  • Stories of Your Life and Others by
  • ISBN: 1931520895
  • ISBN13: 9781931520898
  • Look up with:
  • Published:
  • Publisher: Tor Books